It's hard to keep a secret in New York for very long. Here's a guide to ten bars that are hidden, hush-hush, or on the DL, but completely accessible once you find them.
10) 124 Old Rabbit Club: This dimly-lit subterranean speakeasy serves over 70 beers, including a number of ultra-rare Czech and German ales. It's cozy and cave-like, and if you're hungry you can order a pressed sandwich made with fresh pretzel bread. The space is pretty much hidden in plain sight on a cheesy stretch of MacDougal Street. Just find the address (124 MacDougal), walk down the steps to the black door, and punch the buzzer to be let in — no passwords or secret handshakes required.
9) Bathtub Gin: New York's newest speakeasy is hidden behind a dummy wall in the back of Stone Street Coffee Company in Chelsea. The facade is marked by a red light, so just push that wall back and you'll get to the bar (there's frequently a bouncer outside the shop on weekend nights). The space features a number of art deco fixtures, cushy banquettes, and a claw-foot bathtub in the center of the room. Order the Pimm's Cup.
8) Gotham City Lounge: This comic book-themed bar sits right under the M-Train tracks at the intersection of Myrtle Ave and Cedar St. in Bushwick. The tiny space is lined with vintage super hero paraphernalia, the crowd is friendly, and the drinks are dirt cheap. It's not an exclusive place, but you need to get buzzed in. Follow them on Twitter @gothamcityloung.
7) Fig 19: Fig 19 has kept a remarkably low profile since opening earlier this year. It sits in the back of the Envoy gallery on Christie Street, which is just one floor above its sister bar, Home Sweet Home. This hip lounge is apparently only open on weekend nights, and the street level entrance is usually guarded by a bouncer.
6) White Noise: Located in the old Uncle Ming's space, this metal-themed lounge is accessible via an unmarked doorway on Avenue B near 14th Street. Go up the flight of stairs and you'll find a big bar, black chandeliers, black curtains, black banquettes, a stripper pole, and a serious sound system bumping loud rock music. White Noise attracts a crowd of hot, tatted hipsters, and there's a strobe light-lit "weirdo room" hidden in one corner.
5) Bleecker Heights Tavern: It's not a speakeasy, but Bleecker Heights Tavern is a hidden gem. To get to this unmarked bar, walk to the back of the Five Guys on Bleecker Street, and up the stairs next to the bathroom. There are 14 beers on tap, six flat screens, and big windows that look out onto 7th Avenue and Barrow Street. Best of all, you can have Five Guys delivered right to your barstool.
4) Kings County: This relaxed neighborhood bar is located on a remote, warehouse-lined block of East Williamsburg. The front part of the room has no windows, and the door is set inside a large steel wall (it's marked by a metal crown at the top). Kings County serves your typical dive bar selection of beer and booze, and there's a somewhat charming outdoor corridor in the back for smokers. A fine place to go before or after dinner at Roberta's.
3) 2nd Floor on Clinton: To get to this swanky lounge, walk straight to the back of Lower East Side tavern Barramundi and push the buzzer next to the door marked "private." Once you're buzzed up, order a classic cocktail prepared by mixologist Kenneth Eberle or sample something from their top-notch brandy list. 2nd Floor on Clinton also serves delectable handmade truffles in flavors like absinthe, mint, and, "Dark & Stormy."
2) Secret Lounge: This gay bar attracts big crowds late at night on the weekends, but the rest of the week, it keeps a very, very low profile. The space is located at the end of a long hallway accessible via an unmarked door on a nondescript block of West Chelsea, in the shadow of The High Line. The space features plush red banquettes, vintage chandeliers, and a square bar in the center of the room.
1) Est. 1986: Koreatown's best kept bar secret is buried deep inside of the drab Hotel Stanford on 32nd Street, in a hallway on the second floor. Est. 1986 serves strong mixed drinks and a surprisingly good selection of wines by the glass. It fills up a bit around happy hour, but after 7 PM, this is a great place to sit and sip a cocktail.